College Football – Georgia Defeats Kentucky: Breaks Hope of SEC Championship

UK Falls to Georgia

November 3rd – Lexington, KY – Michael Willis – Contributing Columnist Bluegrass Sports Nation

The setup for a historic night for Kentucky Football was perfect. The weather was beautiful, Kroger Field was packed, and SEC Nation was in town. However, the Georgia Bulldogs had other plans for the Wildcats. With the SEC East Championship on the line the Bulldogs ran their game plan better than the Wildcats and won 34 to 17. Continue reading College Football – Georgia Defeats Kentucky: Breaks Hope of SEC Championship

HS Football – Survive and Advance: Hazard Explodes for 51 Points Against the Green Dragons

November 2, 2018 – Hazard, Kentucky – JJ Baker – Bluegrass Sports Nation – Hazard Football Columnist

The first round of the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl got underway this week and it saw the Hazard Bulldogs rack up 45 points the first half and 51 points for the game against the Green Dragons of Harlan. After a shaky start on special teams and a great play by a Harlan receiver, the Bulldogs righted the ship and handled the Green Dragons with relative ease. Continue reading HS Football – Survive and Advance: Hazard Explodes for 51 Points Against the Green Dragons

HS Football – Breathitt Advances to the Regional Semi-Finals with 7-6 win over McCreary

Breathitt’s Jacob Noble – Photo by Brendon Miller – BSN

November 2, 2018 – Jackson, Kentucky – Casey Allen – Bluegrass Sports Nation- Breathitt County Columnist

Playoff football isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter if you are a one seed or if you barely made the playoffs.  The fact is, everyone is 0-0 to start the post season and it is win or go home!  Survive and advance, or Lose and Watch.  It would be a lesson that many would learn the hard way on Friday night. Continue reading HS Football – Breathitt Advances to the Regional Semi-Finals with 7-6 win over McCreary

College Basketball – KENTUCKY’S FINAL TUNE UP OF THE PRESASON DEFEATS IUP CRIMSON HAWKS 86-64

UK defeats UIP in last tuneup for season – Photo by Mike Cyrus for BSN

REID TRAVIS LEADS THE CATS WITH A DOUBLE DOUBLE, 22 POINTS, 14 REBOUNDS.

David Leveridge- Bluegrass Sports Nation UK Basketball – November 2, 2018- Rupp Arena.

As the preseason Basketball concludes the Kentucky Wildcats had one preseason opponent remaining.  The Opponent is the IUP Indiana University of Pennsylvania a division two school from a small town located in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  Kentucky is a favorite to win the game and the final tune up before the season begins next Tuesday as Kentucky competes in the Champions Classic against the Duke Blue devils.   UK and IUP has never meet on the Basketball court, and UK is heavily favored against the Crimson Hawks.  Continue reading College Basketball – KENTUCKY’S FINAL TUNE UP OF THE PRESASON DEFEATS IUP CRIMSON HAWKS 86-64

College Football – Could this be biggest game in UK Football History

Lexington, KY – 10-31-18 – Michael Willis – Bluegrass Sports Nation Columnist

Game Preview: Kentucky vs. Georgia

Kentucky will host Georgia this Saturday in perhaps the biggest game for the Kentucky football program in 30+ years. The winner of this game will likely be the SEC East Champion and will face Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Continue reading College Football – Could this be biggest game in UK Football History

High School Football – Breathitt to Host the Raiders on the River Bank

Cameron Stacy loads up for the pass – Photo Brendon Miller – BSN

October 31st, 2018 – Jackson, Kentucky – CASEY ALLEN-Bluegrass Sports Nation – Breathitt County Columnist

          Kentucky High School Athletic Association football playoff brackets are made, and the tickets have been punched. All the stands between the playoff teams and a state championship is 5 more games. Half of those teams will be playing their final game of the 2018 season this Friday night, while the other half will move on to the quarterfinals. Continue reading High School Football – Breathitt to Host the Raiders on the River Bank

High School Football – Hazard Will Host the Harlan Green Dragons in the First Round of the KHSAA Class A Playoffs

November 1, 2018 – Hazard, Kentucky – JJ Baker – Bluegrass Sports Nation – Hazard Football Columnist

It’s finally football playoff time in Kentucky! It’s the time of the year to filter out the pretenders from the contenders and when 6 senior classes get to go out on top of their high school career! That will be decided over the next 5 weeks as teams from every class in Kentucky’s 6 class system march toward Kroger Field and the KHSAA State Football Finals that will be held November 30th through December 2, 2018. This is the time of year that some of the best football all season will be played. Hazard will begin their journey this Friday night at Daniel Field when they will host the Harlan Green Dragons. Continue reading High School Football – Hazard Will Host the Harlan Green Dragons in the First Round of the KHSAA Class A Playoffs

Pro Football – Afternoon Delight – By Dr. John Huang

Dalton tries to shrug off a tackle – Photo by Brendon Miller – BSN/SVA

(CINCINNATI, Oh.) – The Bengals’ 37-34 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers served as a bit of a bounce back from their drubbing a week ago in Kansas City. Unlike the prime time embarrassment against the Chiefs, Cincinnati’s offense looked spiritedly viable as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead before a predictable Tampa rally tied the game late. Randy Bullock’s 44-yard game-winning field goal as time expired gave Coach Marvin Lewis a hard-fought win over his old college roommate, Dirk Koetter. The Bengals defense was in a generous mood throughout the afternoon, surrendering a whopping 576 total yards, but also garnering four interceptions and five sacks along the way.

I’m giving credit not only to Bullock’s kick, but also to the one o’clock kickoff. The early-afternoon effort generated just enough fire to keep the embers of hope burning for success this season. The win improves the Bengals’ record to 5-3, a game ahead of the Ravens and percentage points behind the Steelers in the divisional race. Cincinnati has an upcoming bye-week, giving their walking wounded a chance to heal up for the second half sprint.

“Obviously we wish we had played better in the second half and made the game a little bit easier than having to drive down and kick a field goal with no time left,” quarterback Andy Dalton said in his postgame presser. “We had too many three and out drives, so from that standpoint, it’s disappointing. But we won. To be 5-3 now is huge.”

Dalton, consistent with his performance during non-prime time contests, was a respectable 21-34 for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tyler Boyd continued his outstanding season with a 9-catch, 138-yard, 1 touchdown performance. Joe Mixon had 2 touchdowns of his own while accumulating 123 yards on 21 carries.

So why the uptick from last week? You know if this game had been played in prime time, the Bengals would have blown it at the end. Put this game under the bright lights, and they would have surely self-destructed while the rest of the nation looked mockingly on. The past indignity has been well documented. Cincinnati has lost thirteen out of sixteen on Sunday nights alone, including nine straight. They’re 6-15 in prime-time night games since 2011, when coincidentally, Dalton came into the league. Marvin Lewis, coincidentally, is 0-7 in his playoff tenure. It’s gotten to the point where big-game embarrassment and heartbreak is expected by fans who deserve better.

The reality is that the Bengals aren’t cursed or snakebit. The cold hard truth is that they’ve just never been that good. They’ve always been a franchise steeped in mediocrity. Prime time games are usually played against quality opponents that are consistently better than what management puts out on the field. As much as fans like to imply, it’s not solely a matter of Marvin or Andy choking away the big ones. They’re both OK—mediocre at best. There’s a big game, prime time pecking order, and unfortunately, the Bengals are middle of the pack. Count on them throwing up a clunker playing Kansas City under Andy Reid in prime time at Arrowhead, but—as everyone witnessed today—they’re still fully capable of occasionally squeaking out a victory versus Tampa Bay under Dirk Koetter in the afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.

Speaking of Dirk Koetter, I asked Marvin how he manages his emotions when coaching against friends. “I play against somebody every week,” he answered dismissively. “Dirk and I are obviously closer, but we play against somebody every week. I play against Sean (Payton) in a week. I played against Andy (Reid) last week. These guys have been friends for a long, long time. That’s just part of coaching and being in this as long as I have. Every time we go out there, we know the guy. But we’re in a business to win, just like they are. That’s part of it.”

The rest of the schedule bodes well for Marvin. Fortunately, there are no more prime time meetings scheduled between him and his friends.

Dr. John Huang covers the Cincinnati Bengals for Bluegrass Sports Nation and Sports View America. He’s currently working with former LEX18 sportscaster Alan Cutler on his new book. If you enjoy his writing, you can read more at www.huangswhinings.com or follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs.

Sports Coverage for the Bluegrass